Who among us wouldn't love to zip back in time to re-live a day or two of our college years?
If you attended Southern Illinois University in the 1970s, I've found a way: Buckle up and break open Saluki Marooned, a rollicking time travel novel by Robert P. Rickman, an SIU grad himself (Class of '74).
Short of building your own time machine, it’s the best way I know of to get back. One day in the 21st century, Rickman’s protagonist wakes up to find himself...
....in this 20-year old skin–mustache and all--in his SIU dorm. Marooned on campus. He wonders what the hell is going on -- while marveling at everything he sees. You’ll see it too because writing in the present tense, Rickman weaves a highly textured tapestry of what life was like back then: bellbottoms, jeans, rock music, environmental teach-ins, anti-war riots, and student radio stations to name a few.
.They’re the backdrop for a terrific tale about the universe giving one man a second chance – and the decisions we’d make if we were able to do it all over ahead.
Rickman fills his tale with richly drawn characters, and his meticulous research brought back so much local color I’d forgotten – the shape of campus lecture halls, the stacks at Morris Library, the clubs, pizza parlors, and bars we went to -- and our quirky fellow students who inhabited that magical place.
I absolutely loved Saluki Marooned -- so much so, I slowed down my reading to stretch it out as long as possible. Now that’s a book that grabs you.
Thanks much Bob! Bob is still bouncing along, and still very active in radio.